Reconfiguring domesticity? White women and the Second World War in Southern Rhodesia

This article examines the impact of the Second World War on white/Western women in Southern Rhodesia and looks at the nature of their contribution towards the war effort. In many ways, the war reconfigured their domesticity. While the Southern Rhodesian state and society held and promoted the home a...

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Published in: Historia Vol. 60; no. 2; pp. 132 - 159
Main Authors: Kufakurinani, Ushehwedu, Nyambara, Pius
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Portuguese
Published: Historical Association of South Africa 2015
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Summary: This article examines the impact of the Second World War on white/Western women in Southern Rhodesia and looks at the nature of their contribution towards the war effort. In many ways, the war reconfigured their domesticity. While the Southern Rhodesian state and society held and promoted the home as the ideal occupation for women, this war, as it did in many other places, especially in the industrialised world, saw women increasingly moving outside the home. However, this did not necessarily mean a deviation from the dominant domestic ideology, but rather a reconfiguration of this ideology because women's contributions were channelled towards domestic oriented and related occupations. Thus the home frontiers had simply expanded to coincide with those of the colony and the empire at large. Organisations were set up to harness women's labour power and schemes were commenced with the same objective. These changes were bound to bring about friction at a number of levels because they radically affected the status quo.
ISSN: 2309-8392
2309-8392
DOI: 10.17159/2309-8392/2015/V60N2A7